Peace on Earth had a new meaning this holiday season. At a time that normally sees the gathering of loved ones and the celebration of faith, an anomalous group of Jew baiters, pseudo conservatives, leftist loons, and even a Marxist dictator, assembled in Malaysia for the 2005 Perdana Peace Forum.
On December 15th through the 17th, 2005, at the Putra World Trade Center in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, 2,000 individuals from across the world congregated to “collectively brainstorm on the practical way…to achieve global peace.” The ostensive goal of the forum was to formulate “viable, peaceful solutions to volatile international issues…providing a blueprint which eventually can serve as guidelines for conflicting parties and nations to resolve contentious issues.”
To advance these “solutions,” the center enlisted the aid of individuals known more for their vehement loathing of Israel and the U.S., as well as their unwavering support of Palestinian terrorism and admiration of Saddam Hussein, than they are for proclamations of peace and understanding. Chief among them was Malaysia’s anti-Semitic former prime mister, Mahathir Mohammad. Several sleazy rungs below him was the fascist ideologue and anti-Israel conspiracy merchant, Justin Raimondo.
The Perdana Peace Forum was organized by the Perdana Leadership Foundation, which was founded by Mahathir Mohamad. Dr. Mahathir, who served for 22 years as Malaysian Prime Minister, making him one of Asia's longest-serving political leaders, is widely known for such statements as describing Westerners as promoters of “war, sodomy and genocide,” declaring that a Jewish cabal “ruled the world,” and that the U.S. is as guilty of terrorism “as the people who crashed their planes into the buildings.” It was, however, during his speech at the Tenth Islamic Summit Conference in 2003 that Dr. Mahathir made his most proactive statement, advocating that Muslims should unequivocally conquer the Jews. Mahathir has said:
"There is a feeling of hopelessness among the Muslim countries and their people. They feel that they can do nothing right. They believe that things can only get worse. The Muslims will forever be oppressed and dominated by the Europeans and the Jews… It cannot be that there is no other way. 1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews. There must be a way. And we can only find a way if we stop to think, to assess our weaknesses and our strength, to plan, to strategize and then to counter attack."
Despite his call for the eradication of the Jews, at the December Peace Forum Dr. Mahathir spoke specifically of his idea of creating a global network of pro-peace and anti-war movements, a clandestine front for his true anti-Western and anti-Israel motives to be sure. In his keynote address, he addressed his hope that various anti-war groups and Non-Governmental Organizations would coordinate and organize, and also proposed the setting up of a permanent secretariat for the managing of the network, staffed with both permanent and voluntary workers, and positioned in a nation where it would be most effectual. A fervent critic of the Bush Administration who threw his weight behind John Kerry in the 2004 presidential elections, Dr. Mahathir particularly hoped to use the network to influence worldwide elections in the future. Of this, he said, “With all NGOs working together in ensuring that peace becomes the main issue in all democratic elections everywhere, it is quite possible that those who advocate warlike policies would not be elected.”
Among the invitees to the Peace Forum was Justin Raimondo. Despite Raimondo’s open homosexuality, and Dr. Mahathir’s unsympathetic record in dealing with homosexual issues (including the fact that he imprisoned his deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim on a false charge of sodomy), Raimondo professed extreme admiration for Dr. Mahathir, stating: “the man seems to emanate benevolence and great gentleness, almost an aura of serenity, like some sort of Buddhist guru.” Apart from their differences in views of sexual preference, it makes sense that Raimondo would hold Dr. Mahathir in such high esteem. Both share an intense hatred of Israel, Jews, and the West.
Raimondo, who runs the website Antiwar.com, is bursting with inconsistencies: Although a self-professed libertarian, he has more contempt for his native United States than statist dictatorships like Saddam Hussein-era Iraq. Indeed, he portrays the Ba'athist party-states of Iraq and Syria as victims of the malicious West. Despite being openly homosexual, he admires gay-basher Dr. Mahathir. While mouthing anti-fascist rhetoric, he routinely espouses fascist ideals. Even as Raimondo’s professes to despise war and conflict, he has defended murderous dictator Slobodan Milosevic, who started the only wars in Europe over the past half century. While wrapping himself in the American flag and denouncing his political opponents as unpatriotic, he has stated publicly his wish that Japan had won the Second World War. Notwithstanding these contradictions, Raimondo is consistent on one point: He despises Israel. This attitude permeates all of his words and deeds.
For Raimondo, the Great Satan is America; the Little Satan is Israel. Raimondo wrote a screed called The Terror Enigma, which “insinuates, with no serious evidence, that the Israeli government had prior knowledge of 9/11 but failed to warn our authorities; that because an Israeli lived in the same neighborhood as a 9/11 conspirator they were naturally complicit; Israelis selling art on the streets of the U.S. were actually big-time spies engaged in undermining our government; that here, there, and everywhere, the omnipotent Israelis control everything, so why not the attack on the Twin Towers as well? The next step from this conspiracy logic is, of course, the claim that Israel was in on 9/11 with the Bush administration.”
Raimondo has said, “Israel, far from being our faithful ally, is potentially an enemy.” In the speech he delivered on December 16th at the Peace Forum, Raimondo elaborated this sentiment, proclaiming his belief that President Bush is the most dangerous man on earth, and that “neocon” subversives, working on behalf of Israel, have been planning the Iraq war for decades. Raimondo stated:
"With this exotic mix of ideological positions – pro-war, pro-Israel, and dedicated to the tradition of Strauss and Machiavelli, which holds that only a few men of unscrupulous methods and natural genius have the natural right to rule – the neocons worked their way into the Republican Party… They had argued long and hard that the Middle East had to be transformed into a series of pliable ‘democracies,. all essentially run from the U.S., in order to make life easier for Israel… The ‘democratic’ transformation of the region was seen…as a way for Israel to get out of its predicament and break through to becoming the dominant power in the region, free from any military or demographic threat. In short, the plan to invade and conquer Iraq was already in place. After 9/11, the authors of this plan were free to start implementing it – and the neocons were well-placed to do it."
In an article he authored during his stay Kuala Lumpur, Raimondo expressed concern about whether any government monies were used for the conference, noting: “only after receiving assurances that not a penny of Malaysian government money was going into the conference did we agree to attend.” The truth of that assertion can be debated. One of the two supporting organizations of the event was Malaysians for Peace (MP), also known as the People's Alliance for Peace Malaysia.
MP is a government-backed anti-war movement that was enacted to serve as a mobilization effort for Malaysians to oppose war in Iraq. A close examination of the groups involved reveals the prevalence of establishment groups in MP, including the youth wings of the ruling coalition party; in fact, MP’s patron, Hishammuddin Hussein, is the head of the youth wing of the dominant United Malays National Organization (UMNO) party. It is particularly interesting to note that governmental-affiliated bodies, but not many of the nation’s activist groups, were invited to join MP; this has actually caused outrage among Malaysia’s activist organizations. Cynthia Gabriel, executive director of the human rights group Suaram, stated, “Why were none of the human rights groups invited to be part of this initiative? Instead, we see a lot of groups that are not critical on human rights, democracy and peace-building issues in the movement.” The UMNO has even conducted raids on dissenting groups in the country. In 1996, they broke up a conference held in Kuala Lumpur in which activists were discussing strategies to end Indonesian oppression in East Timor. Political Science professor Johan Saravanamuttu has said, “One has to question the lack of consistency of people who were callous enough to do that sort of thing – and now they are trying to do something in the name of peace.”
The whole idea of the Perdana Peace Forum being a conference devoted to “peace” becomes highly suspect in light of Dr. Mahathir and Raimondo’s attendance. But they were not the only two individuals present whose actions and language stand in defiance of their disingenuous calls for peace. Also on hand for the conference was British Member of Parliament George Galloway.
Galloway, who symbolizes most extreme elements of the anti-war British left, stands as one of the most ardent advocates of the alliance that exists between Western leftists and radical Islamists. But not merely content to voice vague support for jihadism, he is an avowed devotee of Saddam Hussein, whom he personally told: “I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability,” and went on to praise Saddam for paying financial rewards to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers who target Israeli civilians. During the start of the War in Iraq, when Britain joined the U.S. in the military mission to overthrow Saddam, Galloway also outright advocated a jihad against British and American troops. The connection between Galloway and Saddam isn’t simply a tenuous one; he is reported to have profited substantially from payments stolen from the U.N. Oil-For-Food Program.
Also invited to the Peace Forum was guerilla-leader-turned-Zimbabwe-president Robert Mugabe. Mugabe, a comitted Marxist and ardent racist, led a reign of terror on his country using food reserves as a weapon, allowing his own citizens to starve, and unleashing armed mobs on the country's 4,500 white farmers, resulting in the seizure of white-owned farms and the raping and killing of the owners. Although Mugabe wound up not speaking at the conference, his invitation says a great deal about the motives of its organizers.
As with the 2001 United Nations World Conference Against Racism, which, despite its name, was a celebration of hate aimed at America and Israel, the 2005 Perdana Peace Forum was not about peace – far from it. The gathering of anti-Semites, faux-conservatives, and jihadists under one roof was a virtual trifecta of unholy alliances. Dr. Mahathir said, “We have no other agenda, hidden or otherwise, but to find ways and means to bring peace to this world.” But the invitation of anti-Semites and apologists for terror like Justin Raimondo and George Galloway, as well as serial human-rights abusers like Dr. Mahathir and Robert Mugabe, betrays that claim as so much empty rhetoric.
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